Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2014

In Osteuropa 5-6/2014

Between Anxiety and Megalomania
Gas and Oil as a means of exerting political pressure

Roland Götz

Deutsche Fassung


Europe’s natural gas imports from Russia pass exclusively through pipelines. Therefore, it is assumed, Europe is dependent on Moscow to a considerable and dangerous extent. This conclusion is wrong. The consequence of this technical fact is not dependence but interdependence. Therefore, the alleged “gas weapon” is a dull one. A delivery stop – just like an import ban – inevitably affects one’s own economy. As a consequence, natural gas provides a suitable means of exerting political pressure for neither side. The current European Union leadership’s foreign policy with respect to energy – a response to Russia’s recent power politics – rests on the illusory idea of reducing purchases of energy from Russia, by which natural gas is meant. Instead, the West should deploy its fiercest non-military weapon, the oil embargo, should the occasion arise.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2014, pp. 277–294)